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ThunderRoad Preblast: Nuts and Bolts

Aye Brothers.  This is a nuts and bolts post for all those who have signed up for the ThunderRoad race on 11/16 – Red or Blue pill.  There is an unhealthy amount of information in this post geared toward one thing, getting all of us across the finish line, and fast..think more Young Guns less WIB.  It’s long, but also complete with nutrition, taper, and in-race strategy advice for the half and the full from some of the wisest weekend warriors in the F3 Nation. I suggest you read it, eat it, tweet it….then get ready to dominate!

As it stands, there are over 75 of F3’s finest PAX looking to run the Queen City.  There is time left if you don’t just want to hear about this, you can still sign up here.  I believe they are taking online registrations up until 11/10 for the Half.  It might be too close to the date for you to pull this off though, for some people its not, but it may be for you..

 2ndF Lunch and Packet Pickup —— Friday, 11/15 @ 1200 – 0130

On the day before the race, YHC’s plan is for F3 PAX to meet at Dilworth Neighborhood Grill at 1200.  We’ll mosey over to the Sheraton Charlotte Hotel formerly known as The Blake for packet pickup, it’s about a half-mile from the restaurant, then eat lunch back at DNG after.  This avoids having to mess with the parking at the hotel.

Feel free to eat a big juicy burger here, then tweet a picture of it poking the integrity of sad clowns that have been training months and sometimes years for this marathon! #RedemptionRun It’s happening.

Packet Pickup Fine Print: You may only pick up your packet at the Thunder Road Marathon Health & Wellness Expo @ 555 South McDowell Street, Charlotte, NC – 28204 from 10AM – 9PM. You must have a photo ID. A friend or family member CAN pick up your packet, as long as a photocopy of your ID and a signed note authorizing them to do so are provided.  NO RACE-DAY PICKUP


F3/Logistics ——– Saturday, 11/16:

Runner Instructions – All of your info you need is on the TR site: ThunderRoad Runner Instructions

F3/Dress Code:

  • Put the F3 on your chest
  • Great opportunity to use a lot of Vaseline, take advantage. #DoIt
  • Put the F3 on your chest
  • Shovel Flag (optional)
  • Check the weather and start off cold. (except AP #NoBodyFat #VegetarianGoo)
  • See Bullets 1 and 3.


My suggestion would be to park in the numbers 2, 3, or 4 on map below because these are off StoneWall which is a little outside the beaten path.  I could be wrong, but getting there early is always smart and bring some cash to pay for parking.   Also, utilize the bag checking system if you do not want to put your keys under your tire.

Here is the TR game day parking map: TR Uptown Parking Map


Meet @ The Green in the #UptownJungle for 2ndF (if not familiar with the Green it is the 3 patches of grass that connect Tryon and College Street right by MLK Blvd)  – Look for the Jungle Shovel Flag and 75 F3 shirts on the second/middle patch of grass.

  • 0630 – 0715: Check your bag, warm-up, and get your mind right.
  • 0730: Ball of Man
  • 0731 – 0744: Loosen up, line up in front, and get ready to roll. #2ndF #FistBumps
  • 0745: Marathon & Half-Marathon Start – Fast mosey and never look back.

The Thang:

  • Dominate.  Shake hands and kiss babies along the way. Dominate.
  • Half Marathon Map, Full Marathon Map – Hills don’t matter.
  • Water Stations: 6 for the half marathoners and 14 for the marathoners, located approximately Miles 1.6, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24 and 25.

After Race:

Find the beer, find your boys, find your family, and try to find your bearings…go home fulfilled. #ColdBath #TurkeyInOneWeek

F3/Racing Junkies Section:

PR Goal Tracking: Go ahead and enter your goal for the race into this spreadsheet, it’s already proven that there is an %86.78 chance of it happening if you do, I did the research.

Be warned that it’s my spreadsheet, stick to your row. #CyberPolice – If your name is not in it, it’s because you never submitted through the form on the bottom of this post. Do that then go back in and enter your goal, or simply just add a row.

F3/Half-Marathon Race Strategy:

(From The Show) Prep: Running a 1/2 at a pretty good pace is a lot different than running at LSD pace.  You body will likely hurt.  Make sure your bowels are empty before you start running, and try and avoid coffee on the morning of the race if you can handle that.

Pace: The 1/2 is short enough that you can run at a pretty comfortable tempo pace without fear of hitting the “wall” that most people talk about for the full marathon.  That being said, the first mile is key.  You will be jacked up and there will be lots of guys faster than you.  Run your own race, take it easy the first mile, and you will pass those jokers in the last few miles.

There are all sorts of calculators out there that can tell you how fast you should be able to run the 1/2, but for me, a good goal for the 1/2 is your PR pace per mile in a 10k or Sweet Six.

Hydration: The 1/2 is long enough that you do need to take in hydration at the water stops at least once every 30 minutes.  I wouldn’t worry too much about taking on gels or goo, but whatever floats your boat.

Recovery: Get some protein immediately after the race.  Bananas and water are great, but protein within 30 minutes of finish speeds the recovery.

(From Uncle) Different guys have different strategies for this race depending on your level of fitness and goals, if you can complete the sweet six and/or [email protected] That is close to the right pace when you factor in adrenaline, weather, and the extra mileage.  Adrenaline goes along way, but slower early always seems to be the right move. #GetThe3rd500

If a first timer, speaking from experience last year, I was the guy who just wanted to finish the whole race @9min pace without walking.  Set a realistic goal and go get it.

More experienced F3ers – Smoke it. 13.1 at a pace you HATE.

F3/Full Marathon Race Strategy:

(From AP) – If you have a GPS watch wear it and start slower than you think you should. You will be amped as you usually are for a race, and this is the time you are actually running a marathon and not going all out. During the race, take what the road gives you. Heading uphill? Fine to back off a tad. Heading downhill? Lean in vs. backing off and your legs will turn over. Many seconds will be gained with no extra effort if you are disciplined.

(From OBT) – I have little to add to what AP says except that most marathoners view a negative split (in which you run the second half of the race faster than the first) as the sign of a well-run marathon. That means really controlling your pace in the first 13.1 miles and leaving enough in the tank to stay steady through the final 13.1. Sort of the opposite of Dredd’s now-legendary 1:59/3:12 split in the 2012 Thunder Road …

Since I’m known for my steady pacing, I’ve agreed to pace anyone who is interested through the half at roughly 8:30/mile pace (about 1:51:30). If you’re feeling good and want to launch from there and try to go sub-3:40, have at it. Or you can stay with me – I’ll be aiming for a 3:40-3:45 finish.

(From Uncle) – You could also really sack up and take TML’s approach @ChiTown, lay it all on the line in the first 13 trying to smash the course record and let the chips fall where they may on the back half cause you’re just sick like that. #DontDoThat #PlayersOnly Waiting on TML and Sfox’s registration to come in for an encore.

F3/In-Race Nutrition:

(From AP) — during your training, I assume you carried nutrition. If you have any issues whatsoever with change during runs, you must eat the same thing you like (meaning suck it up and carry your own).

I’ll usually eat a regular but small meal a couple hours prior, and then hit my first Stinger gels about an hour in. Then it is a half-pack every 30 minutes for me. I don’t drink water every station unless it’s really hot or the stations are far apart. Just drink when you’re thirsty, not out of obligation.

(From OBT) – I try to start well-hydrated, but stop short of the kind of overhydration that will force you to stand in long port-a-jon lines at the start or make you run the first few miles feeling bloated. Also, don’t feel obligated to hit every single water station; I will often alternate water stations, particularly in the first half of the race and if temperatures are cool like they should be in mid-November.

If you’re particular about what gels or other snacks you take, carry your own, but don’t overdo it. I passed one woman in Chicago who must have had a dozen Gu packets tucked into her race belt. It’s a marathon, not an Appalachian Trail thru-hike …

I take gels or gummies at about the same rate AP recommends, 3 -4 gummies or a half-packet of gel every 30-40 minutes, although I don’t usually start eating until after the half-marathon mark.

F3/Pre-Race Nutrition #AntiCarbLoad Strategy:

(From AP) — The biggest mistake I see first-timers make is the big spaghetti dinner the night before. Have fun pooping that out and not getting the carb effects until the day AFTER the marathon.

You want to eat your “carb” meal two days before and simply be sensible the last week. No alcoholic beverages at all the last week. At all. Keep up your hydration. Eat smart for you, which for me is lots of smaller meals.

(From OBT) – I agree about sticking to your normal diet. Frankly, carb-loading only really works as part of a broader eating strategy that would need to start 2 weeks out from race day and involves eliminating nearly all carbs and then loading up on them. The pre-race spaghetti dinner that’s become the facsimile of “carb-loading” is really more a social occasion, and I prefer to stick to my more or less normal diet.

I deviate a bit from AP on the no-alcohol rule – I personally like a single beer the night before the race, although you should pass if alcohol disturbs your sleep or your digestion.

Sample Friday and Sat AM eats:

(From AP) — Friday I eat usually something I like that is a staple for me, like egg substitutes with veggies plus dry toast. For lunch, have something like a chicken breast or whatever your protein flavor is. Dinner could be a small rice or pasta dish but remembering that the next day won’t see any carb benefit from it.

Saturday morning, eat some sort of light bagel or toast or banana plus black coffee about two hours out if that’s your thing. Keep some of your routine. Remember you’ll be pumped and you’ll not want to carry more weight in your belly than is needed to fuel you at first.

Once you get running, you’ll sustain on what you brought.

(From OBT) – Friday is my normal smoothie for breakfast, a lunch salad and a normal dinner (no steaks, no Mexican or spicy Asian food).  On race day, I usually eat a packet or two of instant oatmeal between two hours and 90 minutes before the start, plus an apple or banana. That keeps me filled up until the second half of the race.

F3/Taper Week Advice:

(From AP) — As far as running is concerned, if you do your last “long” run of 8-10 on Saturday, take Sunday off. Monday do a shakeout of about 30-40 minutes, then Tuesday a slightly watered down speed work day. Wednesday do about 20 minutes (yeah, I know), then Friday about 10. All you’re doing here is preventing stiffness. Don’t sprint. Don’t wear a watch except to prevent yourself from going too far or hard. Go get ’em guys.

(From OBT) – My taper likely will look something like this: 8-10 miles on Sunday; front porch Tabata or normal F3 workout Monday; light speedwork Tuesday; normal F3 workout or 30 minutes of easy running on Wednesday; Thursday and Friday off, but with some stretching/massage on the Body Wrench both days.

The Finale:

Track the F3 horses: TR stepped up their game and has added runner tracking, if any of you tracked our boys in Chicago, it is almost like your running the race, but you’re really just horizontal, try it! – Runner Tracking

Tweet to #F3TRoad: You know the rules, tweet away. #ComeStrong

TClaps to all the men that helped with the post and with coordination up until now. #LockedShields Pesci, Egypt, and the Wagon Wheel crew have done a great job with the LSD runs, big wheel and the little wheel.  Excited for all the forthcoming support we will hopefully receive from friends and family along the route.

Got all that? Good, I’m hyped for this race, plain and simple.  Proud to be running with you brothers as part of the F3Nation, you never know what you can do until you just go do it.  See you on 11/16 ready to roll. #CSAUP


0 thoughts on “ThunderRoad Preblast: Nuts and Bolts”

  1. Uncle – Thank you for leading, brother.

    The Show, OBT and AP – Thanks for the advice and counsel.

    All – The Sweet Six shovel flag will be at the Ball of Man. Is Material Girl riding a motorcycle?

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